A gap between your teeth, also known as a diastema, can develop between any two teeth, especially between the upper front teeth. Spacing between teeth is a relatively common concern among adults and children alike. How do you fix gap teeth?
When the gap occurs, it can ruin your self-confidence and contribute to health issues. Some people feel embarrassed and may not want to smile. In other instances, a large gap between the front teeth interferes with the development of the teeth next to the gapping teeth. This may cause problems with your bite.
Causes of Gapped Teeth
One of the most common reasons for gapped front teeth is a fold of skin that sits lower than it should. Also known as the frenum, the skin attaches the upper lip to the upper gum. You can see it when you lift your top lip. When it is attached so far down on the gum, it separates the two front teeth.
Other causes of gapped teeth include the following.
Pressing your tongue against your teeth when swallowing can cause a gap between the front teeth in due time. Tongue thrusting happens due to improper swallowing reflex.
Size of the Teeth
If your teeth are too small compared to the size of your jawbone, a gap may develop between your teeth. Teeth and jawbone sizes are genetic issues, which explains why teeth gap may run in families.
Advanced gum disease can cause your teeth to shift from their initial position. The inflammation from gum disease results in damage to the bone that supports the teeth. With time, it becomes loose, and gaps appear.
If a tooth is pulled out, it creates a space on the jaw bone. The neighboring teeth eventually move into the open space, creating a gap between them. Always fill gap teeth by replacing missing teeth with a dental implant or a bridge. You will help prevent your teeth from shifting and creating a gap.
Long-term use of a pacifier, mouth-breathing, thumb-sucking, and improper chewing techniques can all lead to gapping teeth. These habits put pressure on your teeth and force them to separate with time.
Adults may develop a diastema later on in life. As you progress in age, your teeth naturally shift from their position. This causes gaps to develop and may also lead to other dental issues.
What You Can Do to Fix Gap Teeth
Orthodontists and dental surgeons use several methods to close teeth gaps for their patients. Your doctor will work with you to help you find the most suitable procedure for you. It will depend on the cause of your diastema, health condition, personal preference, and other factors. The options include:
Veneers or Bonding
Veneers or dental bonding are a popular alternative to braces. They work best in situations where the diastema results from having smaller teeth.
Dental Implants or A Bridge
If a gap in your teeth is due to missing teeth, the treatment may involve more extensive dental work. Dental implants or a dental bridge is your best option in this case. A dental bridge refers to a false tooth fitted in place using a special device. It attaches the teeth on either side of the gap.
This refers to surgery performed to remove the fold of skin causing the teeth gap. The surgery is done before orthodontic treatment is applied to close the gap.
Braces have been used in several teeth treatment techniques like teeth straightening. There has been a lot of innovation around this technology that has created a shift from conventional braces to more modern ones. You have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to types of braces.
Traditional Metal Braces
Conventional braces have wires and brackets that bring the gapped teeth together by putting pressure on them. Their average treatment duration is usually between 18 and 30 months. Their cost average between $3,000 and $7,000. Given that fixing your teeth gap is as important as aligning your bite, your treatment option could fall on the more expensive end of the spectrum.
Lingual braces are closely similar to conventional braces, except they are cemented to the backside of the teeth. Unfortunately, this method of treatment is not readily available. The style of the braces is more difficult to affix and adjust.
Lingual braces are invisible and custom-made but work in the same way as conventional braces.
Braces cost a little more than other options, but this depends on your health condition and the type of device used. Typically, you can expect to spend anything from $6,000.
If you are worried about the maintenance of your braces, you may wish to opt for clear braces or aligners. These are clear trays you switch every 10 days to cater to the movement of your teeth as they move back in position.
Aligners remain in your mouth for 20 to 22 hours each day. This allows you to remove them during meal times and also to clean your teeth.
Aligners are not conspicuous and don’t affect brushing and flossing, unlike other types of braces. However, they require a high level of discipline, ensuring you switch them on schedule. Failure to do this only makes the treatment take a longer time than it should ordinarily take. On average, it takes approximately six months to one year to see results when using clear braces. The cost ranges from $2,000 to $8,000, making them the most affordable treatment option for diastema.
Fixing Your Gapped Teeth
Deciding to seek treatment for gapped teeth may not be easy but is worth the effort. There are many treatment options available, but they do not all work the same way. Consider many factors like your needs, the primary goal of treatment, and cost.
At ALIGNERCO, we are all about providing you with affordable dental treatment options. Contact us today to schedule your free assessment session for clear braces to fix gap teeth for the perfect smile.